An original lithograph printed in colors on wove paper bearing apportion of the Arches block letter watermark.
This is a superb impression of the definitive state rom the edition of 250 on this paper (there were 20 additional impressions printed on Japan paper, and 15 additional hors commerce impressions on Arches wove paper, for an overall edition of 285). Plate X of 24 color lithographs by the artist illustrating The Story of Exodus. Published by Léon Amiel, Paris-New York, 1966; printed by Atelier Fernand Mourlot, Paris. Catalogue reference: Mourlot 453; Cramer 64 X. Literature regarding this artwork: Literature: cf. Pierre Provoyeut, Marc Chagall: Biblical Interpretations, Alpine Fine Arts Collection, Ltd. New York London, 1983, p. 216.
Chagall was introduced in 1948 to original lithography by Fernand Mourlot, owner of one of the world's great lithography workshops in Paris. In the thirty-five years following over one thousand An original lithographs were created through the collaboration of Chagall and Mourlot. With these spectacularly vibrant works of art Chagall has become recognized as the greatest chromo-lithographer in the history of modern art. In 1966, Leon Amiel published The Story of the Exodus, a portfolio containing twenty-four large color lithographs, twenty-three of which were printed on paper measuring 500 x 370mm and one double-size plate with a centerfold. The edition consisted of a total of 285 portfolios.
The name Exodus means "going out" or “departure". It refers not only to one of the most important events of the book, the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, but also to other highly significant events as well, such as the oppression of the Chosen People in Egypt, the flight and call of Moses, and God’s covenant with the nation Israel at Sinai - an experience culminating in His giving of the moral law (Ten Commandments) through Moses to the people. Chagall’s illustrations of this story are a superb example of the artist’s masterful use of vivid color and texture. The Story of Exodus as done by Chagall re-introduces a celebrated historical tale in a refreshingly beautiful way.
This work illustrates the following passage: "The Lord said unto Moses, “Why do you address such cries unto me? Tell the children of Israel to continue their way. And thee, thou shall lift your stick, and stretch your hand above the sea and part the waters two ways so that the children of Israel may cross its bed as dry land. And I will harden the heart of the Egyptians and they shall start after the children of Israel. And I shall cover myself with glory at the expense of Pharaoh, and all of his army, and of his chariots, and of his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I will be covered with glory at the expense of Pharaoh, of his chariots and of his horsemen.” And the Angel of God, which went before the armies of Israel, changed its place and went behind them. And the pillar of clouds went from the front to the back where it stood between the army of the Egyptians and the army of Israel. And the clouds were dark and the night went by and all the night the armies were separated from one to another. And Moses stretched his hand above the sea. And the Lord caused a strong east wind to blow back the waters all night and dry the sea. And the waters parted and the children of Israel went down unto the dried bed of the sea, and there stood a wall of water on their right hand and on their left. And the Egyptians set out after them on the bed of the sea, and all of the horses of Pharaoh, and all of his chariots, and all of his horsemen set out after them on the bed of the sea. And in the morning the Lord looked out from the pillar of fire and of clouds toward the army of the Egyptians and he sent confusion. And struck the wheels from their chariots, so that they moved with great difficulty. And the Egyptians cried out, “Let us flee before the Hebrews, for their Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians!” And the Lord said unto Moses, “Stretch thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, their chariots, and their horsemen.” And Moses stretched his hand over the sea and, at the break of dawn, the sea returned to its bed. And the Egyptians, as they fled, came up to the waters, and the Lord tumbled them into the middle of the sea. And the waters, as they returned, covered the chariots and the horsemen of all the army of Pharaoh, which had set out after the children of Israel on the bed of the sea. And not one of them did escape. Exodus 14:15-28
This work is part of a carefully curated selection by noted fine art expert Jennifer McCloskey, who was formerly affiliated with Doyle Gallery in New York and is now based in San Francisco. If you have questions about any of the works in this selection, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.